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Monday, March 27, 2017

In a shocking omission, no all-electric car makes Top 10 list at Consumer Reports

Honda will show an all-electric version of its Clarity fuel-cell sedan at the New York International Auto Show in April. 
The Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier, with an MSRP of $41,780 and a range of 238 miles on a full charge, is being sold in seven states, including New Jersey, according to Green Car Reports.


 -- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The annual Auto Issue from Consumer Reports crowns the 10 best new cars of 2017, but every single one of them uses gasoline.

That's really bad news for the environment, and for readers who are looking for a zero-emissions vehicle to reduce their carbon footprint.

Climate change

In fact, the nation's leading consumer publication published a letter from a 20-plus-year subscriber in the previous issue:

"I am writing ... about something troubling that I just realized," said Charles Dunn of Fairfield, Conn.

"Nowhere in the past 10 years have I read anything in CR about climate change and the effects that the products reviewed ..., namely automobiles, among others, have on the environment.

"This bothers me even more because while mileage ratings have gone up in some classes of vehicles, they are still very poor for SUVs and pickups, which a majority of consumer are buying.

"If CR cares about our global climate future, it's imperative that CR hold manufacturers accountable for improving mileage standards and offering more hybrid-electric vehicles."

CR claims 'active role'

The editor defended the magazine's record of "holding automakers accountable for fuel economy over the past decade."

She also said testers have identified "discrepancies" between the official fuel-economy rating on window stickers and real-world experiences; and added that CR "is a champion for increased fuel-economy standards."

But nowhere in the response to Dunn's letter or in the annual Auto Issue does CR mention the role EVs can play in slowing climate change or cutting the 53,000 premature deaths from auto emissions annually in the United States.

The "10 Top Picks" article in the April 2017 issue declares:

"The best new cars of 2017 are outstanding all-around performers -- shown to be reliable, safe and satisfying."

Only one of the 10 is a gas-electric hybrid, the Toyota Prius, which CR says gets 52 mpg.

There's no mention of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has a range of 238 miles on a full charge; or other all-electric cars, including the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf and Hyundai Ioniq Electric.

Among luxury SUVS, Consumer Reports crowns the Audi Q7 as one of the top 10, even though it struggles to get 20 mpg, instead of the zero-emissions Tesla Model X. 


Tesla says the zero-emissions Model X, with seating for up to 7, is the safest SUV you can buy.